Character Analysis - Narcissa Malfoy - A hero in disguise or just pure evil?

in Hive Book Club2 months ago

I have been seeing some theory videos on youtube which paint Narcissa Malfoy as a secret hero of some sort for defying Voldemort towards the very end of the series. Now one might argue, that was a very bold, brave and important move - but I still don't bite the fact how people can paint someone so heinous as a hero, or even good at heart. I mean sure, she wasn't a death eater - but she basically worshipped and supported all of old Voldy's vision.

We get properly introduced to Narcissa Malfoy in "The Half blood Prince" for the first time in the entire series. While the opening chapter does make her seem a bit more...ummm "well behaved" (?) than Bellatrix Lestrange - she was still hovering and living with death eaters. To me she might just as well have been a death eater, without the dark mark. I mean Fenrir Greyback also didn't have the dark mark - but he did Voldy's bidding all the same didn't he? We don't go around looking for "good" in Fenrir's heart now, do we?

The next time we see Narcissa is at Madam Malkin's Robe shop when she and her son Draco are stumbled upon by Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Her stance right then and there tells you all you need to know about her true colors.

When she says to Harry "Dumbledore isn't going to around forever" is tell-tale sign of where her allegiance truly lies. I don't care whether she later switched sides or whatever, she was and is pure evil. And her stance on Muggle-born absolutely nailed her as one of the more enthusiastic visionaries of Voldemort.

Sure she later "switched sides," but that counts for nothing really. She didn't become "good" all of a sudden. She didn't all of a sudden start supporting the good side. The only reason she "switched sides" (if that's what you wanna call it - more on my view about this at the end of the post) was because she was just a coward and selfish as her husband Lucius Malfoy. When she couldn't just take how Voldemort was treating her loser husband and loser son (they thoroughly deserved it tbh) is when she started thinking of her own family's safety over Voldemort's plans. Notice how she still wasn't caring at all about the students and teachers and aurors who were putting up a courageous fight against the army of death eaters - dying in the process. Only thing she cared about was whether her own family was safe. That hardly counts as heroic.

My take on Narcissa stays - she is and was evil, selfish and coward. Not a hero by any means. Labelling her anything near a hero undermines the thousands who fought bravely out of the pureness of their hearts and is an insult to the memory of those who died in the battlefield fighting voldemort and his army of death eaters.

She did switch sides from Voldemort. But not to the good side - she switched to "her own side!" And only someone as self obsessed and obnoxious as the Malfoys could choose a side like that when the rest of the world is at war.


Image created using NightCafe AI


Maybe we can categorize hers as falling in with the wrong crowd or devotion to Draco 🤔

I don’t think we can. She still possessed the same pure blood mania, and prejudice. Take Sirius black and Nymphadora Tonks for example - they come from the same family line as Narcissa herself but they managed to clearly set themselves apart from the rest of the family, not sharing their views and straight up fighting for the Order.

Selfishness destroys so many things, because it makes one to stopped thinking about the group interests but focus on oneself which is not good at all, Narcissa took the wrong road and with the attitudes she display, she wasn't a hero but selfish.

Actually (to be able to analyse the character as such) we meet her in the 4th book during the Quiddicht Worlds, where she has a snobbish attitude, and the simple appearance tells us that she is a classist woman like her husband.

On the other hand, Narcissa was not a Death Eater and neither was Greyback, Death Eaters are the only ones who can bear the Dark Mark, Grayback worked with his werewolves as Voldemort's mercenaries but they were not Death Eaters because Voldemort considered them (as the whole magical community) inferior beings.

Narcissa sympathised with Voldemort, but she didn't work for him like Greyback for example.

Now what I do agree on is that Narcissa saved Harry with the intention of being able to get close to the Hogwarts building and be able to check herself if Draco was still alive, but something that is also true is that once she asked Harry if Draco was alive and he nodded, She could have betrayed him and told Voldemort that Harry was still alive and we agree that the outcome of the war would be quite different, just as when Draco saved Harry, Ron and Hermione from Voldemort at Malfoy Manor and gave them valuable time to escape. In fact thanks to these actions, Harry advocates for them at his trial.

Let's say Narcissa and Draco with more anti-heroes so to speak.

Fantastic take!

Yes Narcissa was not a death eater and neither was Greyback. The reason I brought the comparison of these two is, even though Greyback was not a death eater we do not say he was a good person. So the similar argument that Narcissa was "not a death eater" can not be used to justify that she was good.

But I agree with your point that she didn't "work for" Voldemort. But sympathising with him is equally worse nonetheless and she sure was hoping for Voldemort to triumph as was clear from her interactions at the beginning of Half Blood Prince. Her stance changed only when "her own" family was being ill-treated by Voldemort. Up until then she had no problem as long as Voldemort was ill-treating, torturing and killing other families.

She could have betrayed him and told Voldemort that Harry was still alive and we agree that the outcome of the war would be quite different

Not quite. We can't say for certain that the outcome of the war would have been different. The trajectory would have been different, but the outcome would have been the same. Let me explain -

When Harry decided to sacrifice himself and voldemort cast the Avada Kedavra, Harry cast the same protection on everyone fighting Voldemort as Harry's mother had done on him. This is proven later when Voldemort enters the school and none of his curses are binding on any of the students. Harry's protection was making Voldemort's curses ineffective. In fact in the forest after Narcissa lied to Voldemort, Voldy still cast the Cruciatus curse on Harry to be sure and Harry was able to withstand the curse without showing any signs of pain. His own protection was working on him as well because unlike Lily Potter, the Avada Kedavra didn't kill him because of the whole Horcrux conundrum!

So even if Narcissa hadn't lied, Voldemort's next Avada Kedavra wouldn't have killed harry for two reasons -

  1. Harry was already under his sacrificial protection
  2. He was already the Master of the Elder Wand which Voldemort was using to cast Avada Kedavra and it would have simply backfired on Voldemort again. Of course Voldemort himself would not have died because Nagini was still alive, but he would become bodyless again. Probably the war would have stretched on longer and that was what Narcissa didn't want anymore - she just wanted it to be over regardless of who won as long as her family was safe.

So Narcissa in no was anything close to hero in my eyes. She was embodiment of evil.

I however agree on your point about Draco. Despite how much I hate Draco, he was still a minor when he was (I think, and I am pretty sure I am correct) "forced" to become a death eater. You can clearly see his own conscience was constantly disturbed by the things he was asked to do by Voldemort. So Draco saving the trio at Malfoy Manor was probably a move towards good. Or Maybe he was just scared and didn't want to be the one to give a false alert to Voldemort in case it really wasn't harry. Either way, Draco's "good" has a case to be made. Narcissa's doesn't.

It was great to talk to someone with an in depth knowledge about the books, Thank you for dropping by 😄

Harry's protection extended to those he protected, not himself.

Wand loyalty is complex, while wands don't work well when the wielder is not the owner, they don't work badly either, nor do they protect the owner if used against them, in fact if they did, Harry need not have feared for his life in the final confrontation, in fact when he spoke to Dumbledore in "limbo" they raised the issue that Harry could return there if it all went wrong, i.e. Harry could definitely die.

Voldemort's Avada Kedravara did kill Harry, it's just that because he was a Horocrux, Harry could decide to live again. In fact it was Harry's death that made the prophecy "neither of us will live if the other is still alive" come true, and it was also what made the protection of love extend to the Hogwarts warriors because Harry died for them as Lily died for him.

If the protection of love had also protected Harry himself, he would not have been scared when facing Voldemort, there would have been no talk that Harry might go back "into limbo" and there would be no surprise in the confrontation against Voldemort because we would all already know that "Harry could not die"

and you're welcome, it's fun to debate among fans 😝

Voldemort's Avada Kedravara did kill Harry, it's just that because he was a Horocrux, Harry could decide to live again.

Actually I have to disagree here. Remeber how Dumbledore was sure that Harry must die in the end to voldemort for the horcrux to be defeated. But in Goblet of fire, when Dumbledore heard Voldemort had taken harry's blood to regenerate his body, "There seemed to be a gleam in his eyes" or something...I forgot the exact line. It was in fact this that voldemort had taken harry's blood that provided a way for harry to survive the killing curse, not the fact that he was a horcrux - voldemort was tethering harry to the world. As long as voldemort is alive, harry wouldn't die - lily's protection would keep protecting him. He would keep coming back (I think)

So in a way, it is quite the anticlimax. As you said, before the final confrontation, harry was already victorious. In the forest though, harry was still not victorious because Nagini was still alive, and voldemort also couldn't die. But at the final confrontation, after neville killed nagini, Harry had already won.

Wand loyalty is complex, while wands don't work well when the wielder is not the owner, they don't work badly either, nor do they protect the owner if used against them

But that is exactly what happened in the end isn't it. Voldemort fired the killing curse and it backfired. Harry didn't have to use the killing curse to kill voldemort.

Harry's protection extended to those he protected, not himself.

This you may be correct. I am not entirely sure if my theory was correct here, it just came to my mind 😅 But once I finish the 7th book this time, I'll get back to you if I have anymore thoughts :D

Cheers 😀

What I said I said because I have read the complete saga more than once. The protection of love works on those you protect, not on yourself, Harry's death fulfilled the prophecy and that's why he had the choice to return (in fact remember that Harry thought he would die and that's why he entrusted Neville to kill Nagini) to the die, Harry's task would already be done, he faced Voldemort at the end by choice and knowing that he could fail in fact the book quotes "and entrusting himself to the heavens, Harry raised his wand" with that line J.K made it clear that Harry could die at Voldemort's hands, of course, someone else could kill him because he was now mortal, but that leads me to the fact that, since we agreed that Harry could now die, Voldemort could have finished him off in the Forbidden Forest, that is also clear with the The terror that Harry felt when he heard Voldemort ask someone to check him to see if he was still alive, then Harry had already spoken with Dumbledore and Dumbledore had already given him the corresponding explanations and if he had clarified Har ry "that he couldn't die at Voldemort's hands" don't you think Harry had nothing to fear if Voldemort knew he was still alive?

If you disagree, there's no problem, it's okay that everyone has their own point of view of a work, the important thing is to enjoy it :3